Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

Memorial speech by Chris Samuel, Polly’s husband


This is the tribute that I, Chris Samuel, read at my wife Polly’s memorial recently.

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Eulogy by my cousin Sandi


My cousin Sandi was a Sista to me from age 9-13, a fellow survivor of child abuse a fun, wild, Dag who accepted a very whacky cousin in the magic of her own world who shared it with her in ways I shared it with few and a survivor of breast cancer who as children aged 9 and 10 balled out eyes out at the drive-in to the ‘cancer movie’Sunshine. Read the rest of this entry »

To love is to EMPOWER – by Polly Samuel (aka ‘Donna Williams’)


To love is TO EMPOWER and perhaps this is never so pertinent as when talking about someone who is in their last months in the body. Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting me after I’m gone by Polly Samuel (aka ‘Donna Williams’)


When I leave the body I will continue to live on in all who have known me. This is why they say ‘survived by…’ Read the rest of this entry »

Dying With Dignity – nothing about us without us


Polly and Chris Samuel Before anyone self righteously takes a stand against right to a dignified death, keep in mind dying with dignity has strong clear guidelines… the person must have no more than 6 mths to live and this must be confirmed by two doctors and the person must be living with unendurable suffering…. then consider this… Read the rest of this entry »

On living, dying and metastatic breast cancer


Consequence by Donna Williams I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in Sept 2016. It had metastasised to my liver with innumerable tumors and no chance at resection. This is expected to most likely be my last year. I have made this video to explain to people how I feel about it all, why I have no bitterness and no regrets. Read the rest of this entry »

Facing death with positivity


Transition by Donna Williams Facing death… I keep hearing how brave, how positive I am. But is it all about positivity, or is it broader? I’ve been trying to understand what has shaped my perspective to see if it really all came down to positivity… or something else. I wanted to know this because facing death is so hard for many people, so why was this transition relatively ‘easier’ for me? Read the rest of this entry »

The Language Of Death


Polly and Chris Samuel As a person with metastatic breast cancer facing what is expected to be my last year with a body, I wanted to explore the language surrounding death, dying and end of life… Are we ‘the body’… do we end when we lose conscious awareness of our thoughts, feelings, experiences….Is it possible part of us doesn’t die, somehow lives on…
This is what I explore here, as a Taoist, as a humanist. Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer, Chemo and Mythbusting


Donna Williams 2016

I am not a doctor, just a layperson with metastatic breast cancer. These are my experiences and views as someone who has had mundane completely treatable cancers, who has had early treatable cancerous changes and non invasive cancer, who has had primary breast cancer and now metastatic breast cancer. I have made this video to help people in the public to hear someone cancer talking openly about how broad cancer actually is, how broad chemo is, and how this impacts treatments and treatment choices including when cancer is metastatic and considered incurable. This is not intended whatsoever as medical advice. Read the rest of this entry »

Throwing a living wake


Donna Williams October 2016 It was my 53rd birthday mid October. I was diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer in mid September and the week of my birthday had just done my fourth palliative chemo. The weekly chemos had been shrinking the innumerable tumors in my liver and the one in my spine wonderfully and even though I know this drug Cinderella tends to work for only 8-12 months before the cancer cells mutate again and become resistant to it and all the tumors return, I get to ‘go to the ball’… Read the rest of this entry »

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